Military Divorce: Is She Entitled To My Military Disability Pension?

Jennifer Hankinson Dallas Divorce AttorneyQuestion:

I am a 100% disabled military veteran who receives a pension and does not work.

Is my soon-to-be-ex-wife entitled to any of this military disability pension money I receive on a monthly basis?

Answer:

Since I am only licensed to practice law in the state of Texas, I can only provide general divorce help for men on how a Texas court might deal with your situation.

Service members suffering from a disability can elect to receive VA disability benefits in exchange for waiving a corresponding amount of their disposable retired pay. Pursuant to federal law, VA disability benefits are pre-empted from being characterized as community property.

If a service member is eligible for retirement and military disability, only the portion of the member’s retired pay that is attributable to the member’s disability is exempt from characterization as community property.

For example if you retire with a 70% disability rating, then 30% of your benefits are subject to characterization as community property and subject to division at divorce.

However, if a service member is not eligible for military retirement, but is entitled to retirement pay based on the member’s disability, generally, such benefits are exempt from characterization as community property and thus not divisible upon divorce.

Since I do not know the specifics of your situation, I cannot give you legal advice on divorce on how to best protect yourself in this current situation. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a mens divorce attorney in your area for more information.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Jennifer Hankinson, an attorney in the Dallas, Texas, office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Military Divorce: Is She Entitled To My Military Disability Pension?

    what about disability retirement. A service member can be medically retired and receive a disability rating from the military. They receive disability retirement which is not taxable. This is not the same thing as VA disability. When you look at court cases and regulations they always say disability is not community property. However, when you talk to lawyers including those claiming to be experts they seem completely unaware that there are two forms of disability payments made from two separate entities. Disability retirement and VA disability. Why do lawyers say yes your retirement is community property when the military calls it disability retirement, it’s given for disability and not time served and you pay no taxes on it unlike regular retirement.

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